Blogs by Global Steps AA group members.
|Posted by DougE on November 26, 2015 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
If the only prayer you say in your whole life is “thank you,” that would suffice.
“An attitude of gratitude,” we sometimes hear, will help us on our path. There certainly are enough things for us to worry about, grieve over, and complain about. They have their place. But as we mature and no longer use addictive escapes, we learn that joy can exist side by side with grief. Gratitude is a tonic for our self-pity. Saying “thank you” actually opens us to receive more of life’s blessings, which sit there waiting for us to notice.
In a pleasant moment we can look around and say, “Aren’t we lucky!” That’s a kind of prayer, and it connects us with our Higher Power. No matter how painful or worrisome a day may be, we can be thankful for our growth. Gratitude is so simple we sometimes dismiss it while looking for a more complicated answer in our lives. We can say “thank you” for all the simple things like trees, cool air, food, and love between people. It is a risk to be so grateful. Who will be in control? Perhaps God.
God, thank you for all that comes to me without my efforts.
|Posted by Dayzed on October 24, 2015 at 11:40 AM||comments (1)|
I believe we are all sober and alive for only one reason: God has a job for us to do. I have also come to believe that I must please God first, myself second, and everybody else third. When I can live and feel that way -- and it isn't all day every day -- things seem to work out. When I try to run the show, everything goes to hell.
|Posted by Dayzed on September 6, 2015 at 1:10 AM||comments (0)|
The terms “spiritual experience” and “spiritual awakening” are used many times in this book which, upon careful reading, shows that the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism has manifested itself among us in many different forms.
Yet it is true that our first printing gave many readers the impression that these personality changes, or religious experiences, must be in the nature of sudden and spectacular upheavals. Happily for everyone, this conclusion is erroneous.
In the first few chapters a number of sudden revolutionary changes are described. Though it was not our intention to create such an impression, many alcoholics have nevertheless concluded that in order to recover they must acquire an immediate and overwhelming “God-consciousness” followed at once by a vast change in feeling and outlook.
Among our rapidly growing membership of thousands of alcoholics such transformations, though frequent, are by no means the rule. Most of our experiences are what the psychologist William James calls the “educational variety” because they develop slowly over a period of time. Quite often friends of the newcomer are aware of the difference long before he is himself. He finally realizes that he has undergone a profound alteration in his reaction to life; that such a change could hardly have been brought about by himself alone. What often takes place in a few months could seldom have been accomplished by years of self-discipline. With few exceptions our members find that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves.
Most of us think this awareness of a Power greater than ourselves is the essence of spiritual experience. Our more religious members call it “God-consciousness.” Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic capable of honestly facing his problems in the light of our experience can recover, provided he does not close his mind to all spiritual concepts. He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent denial.
We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information,
which is proof against all arguments and which
cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—
that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”
|Posted by Dayzed on August 29, 2015 at 12:35 PM||comments (0)|
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
© Max Ehrmann 1927
|Posted by Dayzed on August 22, 2015 at 12:55 PM||comments (0)|
A.A. Thought for the Day
“Those who do not recover are people who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault. They seem to be born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living that demands rigorous honesty. Their changes are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover, if they have the capacity to be honest.” Am I completely honest with myself and with other people?
Meditation for the Day
You can make use of your mistakes, failures, losses, and sufferings. It is not what happens to you so much as what use you make of it. Take your sufferings, difficulties, and hardships and make use of them to help some unfortunate soul who is faced with the same troubles. Then something good will come out of your suffering and the world will be a better place because of it. The good you do each day will live on, after the trouble and distress have gone, after the difficulty and the pain have passed away.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may make good use of my mistakes and failures. I pray that some good may result from my painful experiences.
|Posted by Dayzed on August 16, 2015 at 1:10 AM||comments (0)|
Our true home is in the present moment.
To live in the present moment is a miracle.
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment,
To appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.
Peace is all around us-
In the world and in nature-
And within us-
In our bodies and our spirits.
Once we learn to touch this peace,
We will be healed and transformed.
It is not a matter of faith;
It is a matter of practice.
--From, "The 12 Step Prayer Book" #145
|Posted by DougE on August 13, 2015 at 10:10 AM||comments (0)|
There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. People who do not experience self-love have little or no capacity to love others.
We cannot hang on to feelings of shame and guilt and still hope to become better people. How did these feelings begin? If we were treated badly by people, we need to be honest about what happened so we can resolve it and move on. Have we perpetuated our feelings by acting disrespectfully ourselves? Then we need to take a thorough inventory of our wrongdoings, admit them, make repairs, and let them go.
We may wallow in shame because facing it feels too frightening. Often, we believe our shame is greater than that of others. This belief is usually untrue and grandiose. It's part of how we isolate ourselves. We don't have to face it alone. We have the help of other men and women who can listen to our pain and tell us about their experiences.
Today, may I find the courage to face my shame and assert my right to self-esteem.
|Posted by DougE on August 6, 2015 at 5:40 PM||comments (0)|
God respects me when I work, but he loves me when I sing.
We seek balance in our lives. The greatest sign of unmanageability in our past was the unbalanced lives we led. This is no easy lesson to learn. We are inclined to grasp for a single answer, thinking we now have the key insight to a happier way of life. As men, many of us have pursued our happiness in work with little time for anything else. Perhaps, for some, the singing and playing we have done were part of our addiction or participating with someone else in their addiction. This makes it feel dangerous or frightening now to be playful in recovery.
We can find ways to have more balance in our lives. Spiritual vitality grows when we make room in our day for lighthearted play as well as the serious tasks.
I pray for guidance from my Higher Power to help me find a balance in my life today.
|Posted by DougE on August 5, 2015 at 9:10 AM||comments (0)|
The whole problem is to establish communication with one’s self.
—E. B. White
We are like many-faceted gemstones. Each side represents a different aspect of us. We have our emotional sides with different feelings and responses. We have our competencies and strengths, hopes and desires, destructiveness and negativity, self-doubts and resentments. We also possess a drive for power and knowledge, a desire to serve, and a wish to connect with others.
Our spiritual masculinity requires that we know our many sides. We need a working relationship with our thoughts and feelings so they can be appreciated, accepted, and understood. When we tell our story in a meeting, we let others know us, and we get to know ourselves better. When we are spontaneous in what we say or do, we communicate with ourselves. We discover ourselves through meditation, journal writing, playfulness, physical activity, and conversations with others. In that way we become more honest.
Today, I will use my lines of communication with myself and become more self-accepting and more honest.
|Posted by DougE on July 22, 2015 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
A PRICELESS GIFT
By this time in all probability we have gained some measure of release from our more devastating handicaps. We enjoy moments in which there is something like real peace of mind. To those of us who have hitherto known only excitement, depression, or anxiety–in other words, to all of us–this newfound peace is a priceless gift.
12 & 12, p. 74
I am learning to let go and let God, to have a mind that is open and a heart that is willing to receive God’s grace in all my affairs; in this way I can experience the peace and freedom that come as a result of surrender. It has been proven that an act of surrender, originating in desperation and defeat, can grow into an ongoing act of faith, and that faith means freedom and victory.